- #1

- 68

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**Where is the information about the shapes of the initial waves**

**at this moment of time**stored?In other words, after the third picture, how does this large wave "know" how it should split in order to restore the initial pulses?

**Thank you!**

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- Thread starter Virous
- Start date

- #1

- 68

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In other words, after the third picture, how does this large wave "know" how it should split in order to restore the initial pulses?

- #2

- 16,810

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I think that's where your problem lies. Both waveforms DO exist at that point exactly as they do exist at every other point on the graph, it's just that you are looking at the sum.On the third picture (the exact moment of superposition), the initial individual waves do not exist.

If you had a basket of 3 apples and you added 2 more apples, you wouldn't be thinking "damn, where did my 3 apples go? How can I get them out again?" but because the waveforms add in a smooth way, if you ONLY look at the waveform at that point in time, you can't tell what the individual waves look like, whereas with the apples you don't have that problem.

- #3

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When you add two numbers (e.g. 3 and 2) you get 5. If you give 5 to another person, he wouldn't be able to tell, if the original numbers were 4 and 1 or 3 and 2 or 2.5 and 2.5 and so on. This is exactly the same case :)

If you think of it in terms of particles, on the third picture one of the particles is "up" and it is ready to go down. How is that possible that when it goes down it gives unequal amounts of energy to absolutely identical particles on its left and right?

If I were to predict what's going to happen after, I would say that the resulting waves after the superposition would be equal. Yet, all the diagrams draw them in this way, so I'm confused.

- #4

- 68

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If the diagram depicts a real situation, they obviously do :) The question is, where? Particles definitely don't have this information, since they are just particles moving up and down and having a particular displacement function.Both waveforms DO exist at that point exactly

Suppose, I have managed to superimpose a million of waves with strange shapes (I guess I would need more dimensions, but anyway). Where will all this information go?

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